Large trucks and tractor-trailers are huge vehicles, weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Since the average passenger vehicle weighs in at around 5,000, they’re simply no match for these enormous machines. Last year, of the 97,000 people injured in a multi-vehicle accident involving a large truck, 17,000 injured persons were in the large truck, and 80,000 were in the other vehicle. If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, take the following steps to give your claim the strongest possible chance for success.
Get medical help
Before anything else, ensure that you and your passengers’ medical needs are cared for. Even if you are not seriously injured, see a doctor right away for a checkup. You may have injuries you didn’t know you had. Additionally, injuries can persist or become more severe, and a doctor’s records of their presence immediately after a crash can help you recover your costs of treatment later.
Take as many pictures as you can from the scene of the crash, showing the position of the vehicles, and any debris thrown from the crash site. These photos can help an accident reconstruction expert show an insurer or court what happened in the crash, and any errors that the drivers made.
Talk to Witnesses
Be sure to get the name and contact info of anyone who might have seen the crash and could support your account in a deposition or in court.
Make sure there’s a police report
A police report will provide an objective account of what happened in the crash and may be required by your insurance carrier when you make a claim.
Don’t sign any statements
Truck insurers can be aggressive in attempting to get victims to back down or take less than they deserve. They might appear at the accident site and try to coerce you into making a statement before your shock has subsided or you’re even sure what’s going on. Don’t make any statements about what happened, and do NOT admit fault before you’ve had a chance to speak to a lawyer.
Talk to an attorney experienced in truck accident claims
Truck accident claims are complex. There are almost always multiple defendants involved, making litigation more challenging. Hundreds of federal and state rules apply to long-haul commercial truck driving, including ones that govern how long a driver can spend behind the wheel in a day and how a truck must be loaded. Violation of these laws can have an impact on your claim for damages, making it important to find an attorney who understands these laws and will use them in support of your claim.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or other large truck in Alabama, seek knowledgeable and compassionate legal help in making your claim for personal injury damages by contacting the Montgomery truck accident lawyers at McPhillips Shinbaum for a consultation, at 334-262-1911.